Thursday, May 05, 2005

Trying to stay motivated?

Today has been one of those days.

Someone commented on the tremenous pile of papers under my desk and suggested I should get a cardboard box, like that hadn't occurred to me. I tidied up the pile even though I'm too lazy to finish filing all the papers, because I don't really have enough filing space, and it requires a lot more shuffling around to force things to fit in space that's really too small.

I need my own office, with gigantic file cabinets. Oh yeah, and a secretary.

Someone turned off my western blot before it was finished. I don't know who it was. When I asked around, someone else said the same thing had happened to them earlier today, but we don't know if it was the same person.

Meanwhile, the westerns we did today didn't really work. I can't really conclude much from them.

I'm still waiting for stuff to come in the mail. I'm telling myself I'm conserving my energy, or something, so that when the stuff comes I can really plow through a bunch of experiments, but it just makes me tired thinking about all the work I have to do.

The data I collected yesterday, which is really pretty, turns out not to be as statistically significant as I originally thought. I'm still not sure if my 'control' is messed up, or if I'm just looking at something that doesn't really exist much above background. I've had problems with this 'control'- it's one of those things that supposedly has no effect, but I swear it looks a lot different from my untreated control, leading me to believe that the phrase 'no effect' is somewhat misused...

I wrote a new paragraph into my grant. But I can't leave it that way. It needs a lot of work.

And I edited a paper I'm not an author on. I strongly suspect I've done more work on it than one of the people who is an author, but I don't think I'll say anything to the first author. I might just ask her to write me a recommendation letter when I apply for jobs.

Which may not be for years, at the rate I'm going.

At lunch, I heard horrible stories about politics in science. My favorite was the one about the senior professor who invites a naive, female assistant professor to his hotel room and then proceeds to attack her. She fights him off, and ever since then, he blocks every paper she tries to submit to one of the (many) journals for which he is a member of the editorial board.


Am trying really hard to think of something good that happened today. Or will happen today.

I skipped two talks I was going to go to. Not sure I missed anything there.

Uh... might have to get some exercise tonight. It might have to involve my punching bag and a lot of noise.


At 10:04 AM, Blogger BotanicalGirl said...

On Tuesday at my grad group session I mentioned I was having a rough day. One of the other women said, "A quitting day?" And she was so right it wasn't even funny.

We've been having problems with equipment lately too, leading to a proliferation of sticky notes saying essentially "Hey, I'm still using this!"

That story is horrifying. I know of a professor here who slapped one of his female graduate students; she wisely filed a complaint against him.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger GrrlScientist said...

Unfortunately, I know a story almost like the one you tell. A very well respected professor in my department was sleeping with his female grad student. She wanted to break up with him shortly before she defended. He didn't like that so he wrote her terrible letters of recommendation. She could not find ANY sort of job at all. She found out what was happening and filed a lawsuit. He and the university both settled out of court. He left the department for a new job elsewhere. I still have no idea if she has a job at all, or if her job is in science, but HE certainly does have a job in his field.


At 5:21 PM, Blogger starry said...

I would like to take a moment to alert you to an amazing document we recienved from one Dr. Dan Burisch who has been working on many government projects.
my html is not up to speed but check out this link and the site (It is being re-built by me, it was taken down in December and I truly had no motivation to build it all back up.

For Images of the actual documents and more information:

To contact Don Deppeller write to him at

He has the personal insight into the details of the entire Saga - I am just being dragged along in the wake and not too happy about it either.... So, I am doing what little I can and hopefully I will hit that hundredth monkey.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Ms.PhD said...

It is truly frightening how many horror stories come out of the woodwork when you have one to share. Suffice it to say, this goes on in most professions, and there's no good statistics on it since most of these events go unreported (for obvious reasons).

Moral of the story: when someone invites you to their hotel room, politely say no thanks.

Oh yeah, and learning a few self-defense moves won't hurt you, either. Of course, if someone slapped me now, I'd whack them with a kick that would literally send them flying across the room. That would probably get me in trouble, since the phrase "they started it" never really carried a lawsuit.

That last post from 'starry' is a bit bizarre even for me. Sounds like conspiracy theory from the looks of it. That's the problem with the internet: there's no easy way to instantly verify the authenticity of documents posted on random people's websites. But you can usually tell just from the way stuff is written that it's some kind of paranoid ranting.


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